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  • May 16

    Anything But Plain: Vanilla

    By Nick Saxby  ·  Weekly Blog

    If ever an adjective was unfairly associated with a spice, it’s the word “plain” becoming synonymous with “vanilla”. In fact, vanilla’s history is anything but plain. What it contributes to many foods is, again, anything but plain (think milk chocolate, ice cream, cakes, and even curries). And the differences between ‘natural’ and ‘artificial’ vanilla flavour […]

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  • May 09

    Mexico as the cradle of the word for chocolate?

    By Nick Saxby  ·  Weekly Blog

    This week we are DELIGHTED to introduce you to a new Mexican craft chocolate maker, Cuna de Piedra (which translates as “cradle of the stone”; a play on Mexico’s description of itself as “Cuna de Cacao”; cradle of cacao). We are also going to use this occasion to celebrate and explore Mexico’s contribution to the […]

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  • May 02

    Savouring, Slurping, Spitting and Saliva

    By Nick Saxby  ·  Weekly Blog

    Next week we are getting together TWICE with Rachel Khoo; foodie and chef extraordinaire, to discuss (and savour) craft chocolate. First of all, we are part of her TV programme, now airing every Monday night on the Food Network here in the UK, and on Discovery Plus, so do tune in on Mondays at 7.30pm […]

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  • Apr 25

    Time to Savour the Craft (and Read the Small Print)

    By Nick Saxby  ·  Weekly Blog

    Anyone who has been to one of our virtual tastings will have been subjected to an explanation of the difference between roast chicken and chicken nuggets. We use the comparison to try and highlight the difference between mass produced chocolate and craft chocolate. It’s all about time. And ‘who’ does ‘what’ and ‘when’. And ‘what’ […]

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  • Apr 18

    Time for Chocolate and Cocoa

    By Nick Saxby  ·  Weekly Blog

    At our craft chocolate and wine tastings, our wine partners put forward an enviably neat explanation of how a wine develops flavour, texture and taste on its journey from vine to bottle and through its time in bottle: What happens on the vineyard: the grapes, terroir, etc. create the ‘fruity’ flavours in both red and white wine, […]

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  • Apr 11

    More Than Bars…

    By Nick Saxby  ·  Weekly Blog

    Chocolate is incredibly and wonderfully versatile. It adds magic to everything from biscuits to brownies, cakes to cookies, mouses to moles, ice cream to curries, bars to ‘bon-bons’. In many of these chocolate creations, chocolate is (ab)used as an ingredient; it’s used as a vector for flavour and sensations, and chocolate is UNBEATABLE at this. […]

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  • Apr 04

    Time to Savour

    By Nick Saxby  ·  Weekly Blog

    For the next two weeks we are going to reflect on the importance of TIME in craft chocolate. For consumers it’s about ‘taking your time’ to savour (and we’ll focus here this week). For makers, time is – in the words of Jenny Linford – the “missing ingredient” (and again, we wholeheartedly recommend her book […]

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  • Mar 28

    Easter: A ‘moveable feast’ that is almost here

    By Nick Saxby  ·  Weekly Blog

    There are lots of important dates and calendar related events this week and weekend: This Sunday, the clocks go forward in the UK, Daytime is now officially longer than night time (we’ve passed the March equinox), Easter is ALMOST here (and Passover starts Saturday night), Lockdown restrictions continue to ease (e.g. the Hampstead ponds for […]

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  • Mar 21

    Genius marketing, chocolate and Easter

    By Nick Saxby  ·  Weekly Blog

    ‘Easter’ and ‘chocolate’ evoke contrasting associations. On the one hand are Easter eggs, chocolate bunnies, chicks and other chocolate concoctions. …On the other hand is the idea of giving up, fasting, and abstaining from the likes of chocolate, wine, and other indulgences. The two are obviously tied together with the idea of ‘breaking your fast’ […]

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  • Mar 14

    Gin & Tiramisu, or Fine Wine? Take Your Pick!

    By Nick Saxby  ·  Weekly Blog

    Easter Weekend is now less than three weeks away, and the UK is (hopefully) now starting to emerge from what seems like a VERY long third lockdown. So we’d like to invite you to join us in celebrating with two great new tastings with firstly WINE and secondly GIN (and tiramisu) (see below for more […]

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